After 13 continuing resolutions, a majority of congressmen got fed up with budget brinksmanship and passed an omnibus budget appropriations bill that would keep more than two dozen agencies and departments operating until the end of the fiscal year.

While we applaud the progress, it is hard to ignore the fact that many agencies were forced to operate for nearly seven months of the fiscal year without a clear idea of what their funding levels would be.

Hill observers say the impasse was resolved because representatives were getting feedback from the public that everyone was tired of the constant shutdowns and threats of shutdowns. Both sides of the aisle decided to let the public vote in November and select politicians whose points of view on many of the spending issues reflect those of the voters.

We are all grateful for the respite. It is worth keeping in mind, however, that both sides have also agreed to reduce the budget significantly over the next five to seven years. Cuts will come primarily from discretionary spending—which includes IT. Agencies will have tough choices to make, and we hope they and their congressional funding partners will look long term to choose the spending items that keep government operating efficiently and serving citizens effectively.

We are already hearing about delays in systems that are attributed to funding questions. As we are determining our political priorities, surely we can agree on one: Political disagreements should not be allowed to waste taxpayers' money.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Shutterstock image: looking for code.

    How DOD embraced bug bounties -- and how your agency can, too

    Hack the Pentagon proved to Defense Department officials that outside hackers can be assets, not adversaries.

  • Shutterstock image: cyber defense.

    Why PPD-41 is evolutionary, not revolutionary

    Government cybersecurity officials say the presidential policy directive codifies cyber incident response protocols but doesn't radically change what's been in practice in recent years.

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

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